Eric Gales (aka Raw Dawg) (born October 29, 1974, Memphis, Tennessee) is an American blues-rock guitarist, originally hailed as a child prodigy. As of 2011 Gales has recorded ten albums on major record labels, and has done session and tribute work. He has also contributed vocals on several records by the Memphis rap groups, Prophet Posse and Three 6 Mafia under the name ""Lil E"".
Gales picked up the guitar at age four. His older siblings, Eugene and Manuel (Little Jimmy King), took to teaching him many songs and licks at a young age, in the style of Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, B.B. King and others. In 1985, the young Gales began to play at blues competitions with his brother Eugene backing him on bass. Although Gales plays a right-handed guitar "upside-down" (with the E-bass string on the bottom), he is not naturally left-handed; he was taught by his brother who is left-handed and never second-guessed the untraditional technique.
In late 1990, Eric and Eugene Gales signed with Elektra Records, and together with drummer Hubert Crawford released 1991's The Eric Gales Band and 1993's Picture of a Thousand Faces. Guitar World magazine's Reader's Poll named Eric as "Best New Talent", in 1991. During this time he scored two rock radio hits, "Sign of the Storm" (#9 U.S. Mainstream Rock) and "Paralyzed" (#31 U.S. Mainstream Rock) and had spots on television programs such as The Arsenio Hall Show.
In 1994, Gales performed with Carlos Santana at Woodstock '94. In 1995, Eric Gales teamed up with both of his brothers to record an album under the band name of The Gales Brothers. Left Hand Brand was released in 1996. 2001 saw Gales return with his album That's What I Am on MCA Records.
Gales has released the albums Crystal Vision, The Psychedelic Underground,The Story of my Life and Layin' Down the Blues on the Shrapnel Records label. Relentless (2010) was followed by Transformation (2011) and Live (2012).
He maintains a strong friendship with record producer Mike Varney. Gales has two daughters, Jasmine Gales (born 1992) and step daughter LaAsia Chandler (born 1996) and is married to LaDonna Gales from Greensboro, North Carolina.
In 2004, he contributed a cover of "May This Be Love" to the album Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix. In 2008, he, along with other guitarists, participated in the touring tribute to Jimi Hendrix, Experience Hendrix. the touring group of musicians included Billy Cox, Eric Johnson, Chris Layton, Doyle Bramhall II, Brad Whitford, and was the last tour that Mitch Mitchell played on.
In the winter of 2010, Gales returned to the touring circuit in Europe with TM Stevens on bass guitar and Keith LeBlanc on drums. The tour was billed as VooDoo Chile and featured works of Jimi Hendrix as well as original material from both Gales and Stevens.
In February 2013, Magna Carta released the Mike Varney produced Pinnick Gales Pridgen, featuring Gales on guitar and vocals, dUg Pinnick on bass and vocals, and Thomas Pridgen on drums. The 13 track album featured one cover song, "Sunshine of Your Love", originally by Cream, one short instrumental based on Ludwig van Beethoven's "Für Elise" (German: fyːʁ eːˈliːzə ( listen), English: "For Elise"), and the remaining songs written by some combination of Pinnick, Gales, Pridgen and Varney. The follow-up release PGP2 was released in July 2014.